Trends come and go, so following them religiously won’t help you to get a timeless style and functional wardrobe. However, there are still 6 fashion trends with staying power that can give you a hip yet timeless look. Keep on reading for the expert’s tricks on how to keep them modern and fashionable.
- Tie-Neck Blouse
A pussy bow or tie-neck blouse keeps coming back as it looks feminine and chic. “It’s a way to communicate sexy femininity without being revealing,” says Trina Turk. Keep it if it’s well made by a big-name designer, because they tend to use better proportions. Or if it’s dramatic, with an extra-long tie, so it is a statement piece, not just that season’s fad. On the other hand, toss it if it’s a cheap, mass-produced take on the look, in which case it’s bound to bear signs of its era. However, think of getting rid of anything that’s too reminiscent of Tootsie.
- Bomber Jacket
Strictly for the cockpit set when it debuted during World War II, the bomber jacket, keeps coming back as it’s “chic and a little tough at the same time,” explains Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York City. You might want to keep the trend if the cut flatters you and the style sticks as close to the original as possible, as any major variations tend to look passé. Like fashion blogger Mary Orton, think of a bomber jacket that you can wear with your office outfits without looking casual. On the other hand, toss it if it’s exaggerated in any way. “No tight sleeves, loose bodies, or belts,” cautions Robert Verdi, a fashion stylist based in New York City. “And if it’s red with an embroidered eight ball on the back, ditch it.”
- Animal Prints
Animal prints were spotted since the cave-dwelling days, though the trend is most strongly identified with the 50s and 60s, when it was favored by sultry pinup girls, like Bettie Paige and Ann-Margret. They keep coming back because animal prints play off the idea of women being vixenish, wild, and fierce, according to Steele. Keep the trend if the pattern is in the “large cat” family or black-and-white zebra zigzags, which have the most staying power. Like fashion blogger Doina Ciobanu, you may think of a leopard print cape that will look great with your all-black outfit. On the contrary, toss them if the print is really bold like giraffe or spotted pony in unnatural colors, like lime green or pink. This includes larger-than-life patterns that aren’t true to scale.
- Patent Leather
Since its invention in the early 1800s, the high-gloss finish has been hot and keeps coming back. “Patent leather gives your outfit an instant wow factor, but it’s still an approachable and wearable trend,” says Verdi. Keep it if it’s an accessory or ensemble in a timeless style, “especially in a basic color that will always resurface, like black, nude, red, or Bordeaux,” says Malka. On the contrary, toss it if it’s used in conjunction with another fad.
- Platform Shoes and Boots
Platforms have made a footprint in the 70s, when they graced the feet of Stevie Nicks wannabes and hustled the night away under disco balls. However, they keep coming back since they’re easy to walk in, and they have a slightly funky edge. Keep them if the footwear is sophisticated and at least somewhat practical. “A four-inch heel and a one-inch front platform is the max,” says Nicole Miller. On the contrary, toss them if it looks extreme that won’t be coming around again. “Anything about them is too extreme―like design, material, or thickness of heel,” says Carson Kressley, the host of Lifetime’s How to Look Good Naked.
- Leggings and Skinny Jeans
“Skinny jeans can be dressed up or down,” says Charles Malka, the founder of the Charles David line of shoes and accessories, while leggings are a great way to show off your legs without showing skin. Keep them if you’ve invested in high-quality leggings. Any pairs in dark colors and free of lacy trim are worth stashing. As for skinny jeans, keep yours if they’re figure-flattering and made from “a pure, classic denim,” says Verdi. On the other hand, toss them if they have some era-specific details like a distinctive wash, zippers at the ankles, or prominent embroidery that decorate the denim. “And get rid of any leggings in bright, all-the-rage colors or patterns―they’re not going to work again,” advises Kathryn Finney. By heeding these tricks, you’ll be able to get a trendy look while keeping everything timeless.